10 Tips for National Bullying Prevention Month

October 23, 2012 by  
Filed under family topics, kids, safety

Bullying is an epidemic that impacts children of all ages. It reaches its peak in middle school, where 44 percent of schools report at least one incidence of bullying each week. In reality, the real number of incidents is likely much higher: children (and adults) often fail to report ongoing bullying because of fear appearing “uncool,” or becoming a target themselves.

October is National Bullying Prevention Month, an ideal time for educators and parents to empower children with the resources and confidence they need to prevent to bullying.

“It can be incredibly hard stand up to bullying, especially if no one else is challenging the behavior,” say authors Cindy Miller, a school social worker, and Cynthia Lowen, producer and writer of the documentary film, Bully. “In these situations, it can require an extra measure of independent thinking by your child to recognize that what she’s witnessing is wrong, and confidence in her own values to step in and do something about it.”

In their book The Essential Guide to Bullying: Prevention and Intervention, Miller and Lowen offer 10 tips for helping turn bystanders – those who are aware of a bullying situation but do nothing to prevent it – safely become upstanders – those students or adults who call attention to bullying and work to protect children who are targeted. The tips include:

(Note: Although written in the feminine, all of these indicators apply equally to boys and girls.)

  1. Be a friend to someone who is being bullied: Walk with the target in the hall, sit with her at lunch, welcome her into your group, “friend” her on Facebook.
  2. Help the target talk to an adult: Walk with her to a counselor’s officer or a teacher, or make a witness report if you were there when the bullying occurred.
  3. Don’t participate: Avoid spreading rumors, contributing to online bullying, laughing at mean remarks, or actively adding to the bullying in any way.
  4. Tell the bully to stop: Assertively tell the bully that you don’t like what she’s doing, that it’s bullying, and that it needs to stop. And always speak to an adult when you witness bullying.
  5. Tell bystanders to stop: If you see others participating in bullying or laughing along, tell them they’re making the problem worse and are also bullying. Stop untrue rumors.
  6. Reach out to newcomers: If you notice a new person at your school, reach out to her; introduce her to your friends and make her feel welcome.
  7. Don’t be afraid to think independently or be the only one voicing what others are probably thinking: The people most celebrated in our culture are those who took the risk to speak out and stand up to injustice.
  8. Start an upstander club at your school: Let others know you’re an upstander and someone others can go to if they’re being bullied.
  9. Talk to parents, teachers, principals, and staff about bullying at school: Tell them where it’s happening, and where kids need greater protection.
  10. Sign an anti-bullying pledge (sample pledges available in The Essential Guide to Bullying): Write down your own commitment to preventing bullying, and ask your friends to sign their agreement.

More tips and guidance on identifying and preventing bullying are available in The Essential Guide to Bullying.

About the Author: Kailani:
Owner of An Island Life and Family Review Network. Wife, mother, and flight attendant . . . living a blessed life in Hawaii.
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Comments

6 Responses to “10 Tips for National Bullying Prevention Month”
  1. 1

    These are all great tips for adults and children alike when it comes to bullying! As soon as people start taking a stand, bullying will be a thing of the past.

    Hopefully we can all see that happen within our lifetime!

  2. 2
    Lisa Musser says:

    These are great tips for helping get people involved in putting a stop to this epidemic. Bullying is a major problem and the schools need to be more involved than they have been.

  3. 3

    Ten powerful pieces of advice for sure. But I don’t think anybody (particularly parents) should underestimate the courage required for an individual to follow through with them to prevent bullying, as Miller and Lowen acknowledge.
    Far better, in my opinion, if these strategies can become part of the culture of the school/workplace, through discussion, so that individual action will be recognized by the group for what it is – part of the communal effort to combat bullying.
    Unless that culture is in place, individual action can often attract the very unwelcome attention that it is designed to fight, hence making it even more difficult for individuals to raise their heads above the parapet.

  4. 4

    You hear the perspective of what to do if you are being bullied but not if you are witnessing bullying. Unfortunately I don’t think most bystanders do anything. I have a daughter starting at a public middle school this year and I had her read this and will encourage her to tell her friends. Thanks for posting.

  5. 5
    Mums Lounge says:

    This is that good that I have printed it off and given it to my daughter for this new school year. Thank you very much.

  6. 6
    Helen says:

    Don’t participate: Avoid spreading rumors, contributing to online bullying, laughing at mean remarks, or actively adding to the bullying in any way.I like this tips. Thanks for sharing

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